• Here we go

    Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

    Morning, afternoon, or whatever and whenever. Got a couple of announcements to make.

    First of all, I found a new home for my writing. I’ve known about this site for some time and I had to be sure this choice could work. Copywrite and content is my concern. I don’t think Mana Pool has content that violates the site’s rules so… fingers crossed.

    As of now, all current and future Mana Pool stories, including Ghost Factor, will be available on Royal Road.

    What I hear from others is they need accessibility, so making this switch seems feeble. There’s no paywall to read them, anybody can access the site on any device, the text is readable, there’s PayPal and Patreon links for donations and support (thank you), and email alerts.

    Right now I have book one’s Chapter 1 available but I’ll need some time to upload the rest and complete my profile. The Snippets stories will get the same treatment, but I’m working on creating new cover art. No new logo yet. I have to find an artist for that.

    I thought about posting the Tyler stories on Royal Road, but I feel they belong on DeviantART. They were inspired by the site so it seems fitting. If the support is there, I’ll consider it.

    And lastly (breathes), the announcement you’ve all been waiting for.

    It’s taken me over a decade to finally get over my life’s hurdles. Losing family members, my work life, my mental state: all of it kept Ghost Factor in production hell. I learned that writing is a process for me. I still feel like an amateur on this journey and nowhere close to calling myself a professional. To this day I still have high hopes to make writing a full-time career, whether with my projects, someone else’s, or once I make my freelance editing business a true reality. Most of the time I feel my writing skills have degraded over the years from all the writer’s block I suffered. At this point, I’m just sick of feeling panicked over the little things, the irrational, and what worst-case scenarios my mind binges on when I’m alone, and not get anything done.

    No more.

    Ghost Factor will not be a complete webnovel once released. Chapters will be published in time; can’t guarantee if I have a regular release schedule or a sporadic one. This will be a long journey for me and I hope you’ll stick around to see Ghost Factor have that “COMPLETED” tag on Royal Road. Will I make it a full-fledged ebook and paperback? I don’t know. At this point, I just want to share my stories, learn from my critiques, and grow.

    Mana Pool – The Ghost Factor, Chapter 1, will be out on December 26, 2021.

    Talk to you all soon.

    Please subscribe for future updates via email. If you want to support me, please visit my Patreon or donate via PayPal.

  • Life Update and Patreon

    Pandemic WFH me, literally
    Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

    Hello all. Been a while since I spoke. Still the usual sparse moments when I do blog about anything. So let’s get right to it.

    Life Itself

    Summer is still my least favorite season. Productivity drops, no interest to hike at the park (not early in the morning at least). The floor fan blows on my face, day and night. The only time I can exercise is Friday night at the yoga studio.

    The weather is changing finally. Hiking at the park will happen soon, and I’m making enough cash for a monthly yoga studio subscription.

    But the whole summer, I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting. I’ve dot it down to making 18:6 a daily lifestyle… most of the time. Eating between 10 AM and 4 PM is my sweet spot since it works with my work schedule. Since last May, I’ve lost 12lbs (5.44kg), but have been plateaued at 256lbs(116.12kg), my life-long weight since I was a child. Pretty much the stall was the result of the stress of moving to a new apartment.

    My brother and his fiancé needed their own place to live, meaning stay at his condo, along with his dog and her two cats. I had no objection to it. So it turned into living with the fiancé’s sister a few blocks south of the condo. Within two days I had to pack everything, haul three loads in my Prius to the apartment, have movers deal with the rest, sweat my nards off in 90-degree heat, then have time to shower and have a beer at the bar. The bookshelf stacking was finished a week later.

    And in a month or so, my brother gets married. Now the realization is hitting me.

    Now for the real news.


    So yeah, I reopened my Patreon page.

    I had one a long time ago, but I didn’t do much with it. Amongst my work life and personal life inhibiting my writing life so much, I felt lost of what to do with it. Sometimes, feeling guilty. I closed it after a year without producing anything.

    And now, after some consideration, it’s back.

    My major roadblock with the Patreon page was money and audience. So many times, I ruminated on pointless questions. Do I immediately set all exclusive content upper tier only for a week (even though the stories or chapters had multiple edit runs or a physical book isn’t being made) and possibly scare off potential patrons (or, irrationally, offend them for any reason), or leave just a tip jar and release all content for free and never see any grown reader wise? Is there a barrier of entry that would impede my audience’s reach? Can I get a margin of success with my limited marketing skills? What other marketing jargon do I research to justify my procrastination? Or god forbid, any worst-case scenario I ruminated become true? Or what if…

    (I stepped away to breathe)

    It took me months to slowly limit that thinking and just do it. For now, the page is up, the $1 tip jar is available. There’s nothing ready yet to publish but it’s coming soon… maybe late November. If you like to support me, I won’t hold you back. No pressure (gulp).

    I do want to address a problem: DeviantART. Since Eclipse was released—forced really—my literature reading experience dropped. I liked the old theme’s search functions and the clean text posts with settings to add indents and font size changes. Now it feels clunky, static, like the infant stages of an expensive WordPress theme. I can’t search by category anymore. It’s more for art and the stories to me.

    It’s tough to say this, but DeviantART has outgrown me. It doesn’t feel right to publish anything there. I’m not deleting my account yet, but I will make a journal post and slowly migrate my viable work.

    Methods change, and this is one of them.

    Freelance Editing

    The last piece of news is I’m closing all my editing slots for the remainder of the year. I just finished an editing project so I’ll need the break. Now I have time to do some copyediting studies and work on Ghost Factor. So for those looking for dev edit work, it has to wait until January, or February, for slots to open back up.

    Until then, become a patron and follow this blog and Twitter for updates.

    Ghost Factor is finally coming out of production hell.

    Please subscribe for future updates via email. If you want to support me, please visit my Patreon or donate via PayPal.

  • Same Shit, Different Day

    We’ve all heard the phrase before. I heard it first from the movie Dreamcatcher, based on the Stephen King novel. Beaver was on the phone, talking to Jonesy, writing SSDD on the fogged-up phone booth glass. That stuck with me when I was commuting to school, doing my daily routines, deal with my mental faults. Every. Single. Day. The motto of my life for the last… six years in the big city. Or how long Ghost Factor has been in development hell.

    For the last fourteen months, that’s become a staple mantra for everybody, waiting for anything to break the cycle.

    Yet, changes do happen, in or out of your control. I know there were many good changes—and gut-wrenching bad—for 2021, only a couple mattered to me.

    I discovered the new Lego Bonsai tree set they released last January. It was sold out for a few months until I snagged it on a random visit to Downtown Disney. I never got into Lego, only admired others that did. The set, however, fits my needs in this bleak era. It took me a couple hours to put together, along with a sore upper back from sitting for so long on the dining room chair, but happy I did something besides doom-scrolling. Having the model on my desk with my Little Buddha and my salt lamp makes the space calm during those long workdays.

    Second was last month I was FINALLY qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine based on my weight. The first and second (last Friday) Moderna jabs only produced a sore left arm and wicked hot flashes for a day. There was some lightheadedness from the second jab, but a nap got me through that.

    After that, SSDD.

    However, I am writing a second blog post after this. I mentioned it long ago, finally getting to it, so I hope you like it. Probably the first and last deep fantasy piece I’ll ever write.

    Last is I’m thinking of restarting my Patreon page. Back then I had no good reason to have one, like unable to release anything really, and just closed it. This time it’ll be a tip jar (for now) along with my Ko-fi page, so expect that to show up soon.

    That’s all I got for now. Gotta get back to that blog post.

    Please subscribe for future updates via email. If you want to support me, please visit my Patreon or donate via PayPal.

  • My 2021 Reading Plan

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    I still hate Valentine’s Day. Let’s talk about something other than chocolate, the color pink,…. and love.

    Recently finished reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It was a good read from Dan’s skeptical (at first) view of meditation and Buddhism years after his on-air panic attack. I heard about this book before from other sources, never got around until late 2020 (shivers from the number) to read it, but not a stranger to meditation. I do it, but not regularly. I noticed that since the 20th, I haven’t meditated much. Maybe because I feel certain and secure the internet is not a dumpster fire every day. The science of meditation, he delved, was very compelling. A chance for me to settle my overactive imagination after a bad day at my day job.

    But it’s now becoming apparent that reading a lot of non-fiction, as a fiction writer and editor, takes a toll on my interests. For six years after moving out of Big Bear, I’ve read more self-help books than fiction, more compared to the college textbooks I cared to read. Most were writing books, but there were habit books, personal finance, how-to-live books, mental health, and a couple biographies. Always in need of that extra bit of help. Reddit was there, but I scoffed at it forever until I discovered not all subreddits are toxic.

    Some insight was adapted from those books. Like bullet journaling. Did that for three years with large notebooks until I determined all the tasks can be done in a single Field Notes notebook. And there were bad self-help books I’ve read. One is still in my library and I’m still questioning why I’m still keeping it.

    And the digital ebooks I collected from Humble Bundle and other sources? Who knows when I’ll dig into that.

    It’s best to summarize is I read a lot and adopt what works for me.

    I still read fiction over the years. It was a pitiful… two to three fiction books a year on average. Last year was Peace Talks by Jim Butcher, The Waste Lands by Stephen King (The Dark Tower #3), Dune by Frank Herbert, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal, and Sunstone Vol. 6 by Stjepan Šejić. Not at all proud of the amount, personally.

    This year, I’m putting my foot down. I have to drop reading non-fiction regularly and read more fiction. So, I’ve set a non-fiction reading list of what I have left. Here’s my list for, I hope, for the next few months.

    • Practical Meditation for Beginners by Benjamin W. Decker
    • No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners by Noah Rasheta
    • Feeling Great by David D. Burns
    • You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple by Seth J Gillihan
    • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
    • Buddhism… by Michael Williams
    • A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemmingway
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
    • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (Audiobook)
    • Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau

    It’s no surprise the connections in this list. Buddhism is not my following, but it correlates to my meditation and yoga practice, just to broaden my knowledge. The War of Art and Side Hustle are re-reads for me. There are lessons in them I want to go over again. And the rest is to help cope with quarantine until I get my vaccine into my arm.